PlayStation has revealed a new initiative to support emerging independent game makers in India.
The India Hero Project offers developers funding and resources to help developers bring their games to market, including financial help (a minimum of $100,000), marketing, access to dev kits and tech support, plus other promotional opportunities. Developers in India can also make use of PlayStation Studios' internal resources and expertise.
The project covers developers producing games for PS5, PSVR 2 and PC. It will also consider mobile games on a 'case-by-case basis'. Developers can find a full FAQ and also apply through here.
"India has been an important development market for the global gaming and entertainment industry for decades now," Radhika Thakur, corporate strategy and development at Sony Interactive Entertainment, tells GamesIndustry.biz.
"Its standing as a hub of innovation and talent for the global industry is not new. The explosive growth in domestic demand for compelling gaming experiences has been clear to see. It has also been fascinating that as domestic gaming demand has grown, local game development talent has also evolved to address this opportunity, with clear ambitions to reach global gaming audiences. As such, we believe that Indian game development is also at an inflection point, and it is the right time for PlayStation to extend our continued commitment to the market with direct support to its game development community."
"We believe that Indian game development is at an inflection point, and it's the right time to extend our commitment"Radhika Thakur, PlayStation
Program manager Sujith Sukumaran adds: "India Hero Project is not just about investing in the Indian game development industry but also helping to cultivate a new generation of game developers who can create innovative and engaging games that will be popular with players worldwide."
Thakur says that PlayStation has been part of the India games scene for 20 years, and that the project is based on its understanding of the market and what it needs.
"The India Hero Project seeks to address some key challenges facing game developers in India," continues Sukumaran.
"Access to funding can be a significant challenge for independent game developers, particularly in the early stages of development when they may not have a proven track record or revenue stream.
"Expanding into new markets can be difficult, particularly for developers who may not have the resources or experience to market and promote their games globally. Adapting games to international market tastes and needs can be challenging, particularly for developers who may not have the resources or expertise to do so."
The latter is where the firm's mentorship element can come into play, including guidance on UI and UX design.
PlayStation says there's no strict limit in terms of how many developers the project can support, although it won't be for everyone.
"There is no specific number of developers the India Hero Project can help," details Hector Fernandez, head of Global Third-Party Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at Sony Interactive Entertainment.
"This program is designed to help developers with a clear vision for their game"Sujith Sukumaran, PlayStation
“However, the number of titles will vary depending on various factors, including the size of each developer's project, the funding requirements, and the resources needed to incubate the project to market.”
Thakur adds: "Our goal is to support diversity in stories delivered through interactive entertainment experiences. Ultimately, the number of titles we can support depends on the quality of the projects and the needs of the developers."
Sukumaran says having a clear plan for how Indie Hero Project can help is important: "This program is designed to help developers with a clear vision for their game and the ability to articulate a plan for how they will bring their games to market to our team," he says.
Although funding and publishing opportunities might be the most attractive elements of the initiative, not all participating developers will be eligible for that.
"They may be considered for additional support as their development progress,” Sukumaran says. “Ultimately, we aim to help independent game developers in India succeed and thrive. We are committed to providing the resources and support necessary to help them achieve their goals."
The India Hero Project is designed specifically for Indian game developers. In terms of other emerging development markets, Fernandez was keen to stress that PlayStation invests in teams globally, and it's always looking at ways it can do more.
"At PlayStation, we believe in the power of independent game developers, which is why we are committed to supporting them through initiatives like the India Hero Project," he concludes.
"We also recognize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the gaming industry, so we aim to support underrepresented game developers worldwide. We are constantly exploring new ways to support the gaming community in emerging territories and are open to new opportunities that arise. Our ultimate goal is to help independent game developers succeed and thrive, and we believe that the India Hero Project is a key step toward achieving this goal."